Your LinkedIn profile provides you with a fantastic opportunity to put your best foot forward with prospective employers and other businesses.
There are a number of tips and tricks you can utilize to make your LinkedIn profile “pop” and give you the best chance of landing your next big job or contract.
Let’s take a look at 7 Best Practices for Writing a LinkedIn Profile…
1. Get Your Thoughts in Order
Don’t just jump off the diving board into the deep end of LinkedIn profile writing right away.
Sit down and take the time to get your thoughts in order before you begin.
What are you trying to convey about yourself to your audience?
What are your best qualities that you simply can’t leave off your profile?
Ensure you have these thoughts in mind prior to beginning, or you’ll risk leaving something off that you shouldn’t.
Write down a list of bullet points of the items you want to cover because this will help to concentrate your efforts later on.
2. Don’t Leave the Summary Section Blank
Whaaaat? This is actually a tip?
Some individuals choose to leave their LinkedIn summary blank and simply jump right in with listing past experience. While this is a fairly direct method you lose valuable viewers right there because when someone lands on your profile they want to know if it’s worth their time to read on.
Your LinkedIn profile isn’t a simple résumé – it is a thorough insight into who you are and what you have done.
It helps to think of the summary section as a character description in a story.
If possible, use up every bit of the 2000 character summary limit.
Writing the summary in the 3rd person (John likes archery) instead of first person (I like archery) makes it slightly easier for the reader, and it also forces you to write a little more objectively about yourself, because let’s me honest most people aren’t so vain they love to write about themselves all the time.
3. Specificity and Differentiation
Never speak in vague generalities on your LinkedIn profile.
Share your unique accomplishments, and use stats and figures whenever possible, such as, “During my tenure, company sales saw a x-percent increase.”
Be sure to demonstrate your value and explain what makes you different than other prospective employees.
What makes you special? Also, include testimonials from previous employers and colleagues.
These will serve to further differentiate your talents and skills from those of your peers.
4. Bust Up Those Blocks of Text
It’s a bit much to expect anyone to concentrate on one big, singular blob of text that has no sections and no divisions.
Make it easier on your prospective employer by breaking up your text with headers and sub-headers that provide reading relief and serve to clearly outline what each section tackles.
This will make it far more likely that your entire LinkedIn profile gets read, as opposed to glossed over.
5. Utilize Multimedia
Headers and sub-headers are a great start, but you can really make your LinkedIn profile visually intriguing by adding graphics, photos and even videos.
The LinkedIn feature “Professional Portfolio” provides the functionality for inserting photos, videos, PDFs and more directly into your LinkedIn profile, providing for a more visually arresting profile that serves to more greatly differentiate yourself from the competition.
Remember, it all comes back to differentiation!
You want to stand out, and you will by utilizing the Professional Portfolio multimedia options.
Just look at the difference multimedia made in this sample profile whipped up by the Huffington Post.
6. Customize Your LinkedIn URL
Remember to utilize all the options at your disposal, and this includes URL customization.
As biginterview points out, customizing your LinkedIn URL makes it easier for people to find you when searching your name.
A custom URL allows you to rid your profile’s web address of those obnoxious, confusing, random letters and numbers, and instead streamlines it to only include your first and last name.
7. Include ALL Contact Information
Don’t skimp on the contact information.
Sure, a prospective employer can easily contact you through LinkedIn, but you want to provide as many options as possible.
Ensure that you include an email address, phone number, your social media pages, and any website(s) or blog(s) you may run.
Provide all the information you can, as this will only increase the likelihood that you’ll be hearing from someone regarding your special talents soon.
Writing a LinkedIN profile takes a great deal of skill.
It’s just like copywriting – bad copy produces bad results. So spending a bit more time planning out the content of your profile and following the steps above will help to raise the bar and get you noticed.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community